Sunday, November 20, 2016

V.1 #49 The Thanksgiving Day Race During the 20th Century

Any event with a lengthy history like the Thanksgiving Day Race has many stories. As I assemble some of them for you, I need to acknowledge material from past articles written by Barry Horstman in the Cincinnati Post and John Fay in the Cincinnati Enquirer, a current blog by Tommy Kaufmann and research by Jim Pleshinger. In addition, numerous other individuals contributed their own personal anecdotes. I hope you find the narratives related to this time-honored event entertaining.

This, the oldest footrace in the Midwest and one of the most senior in the country, began in 1908.  It has continued without interruption to the present with only two exceptions. In 1918 World War I intervened, and in 1936 management problems caused the race to miss a year.

The event's origins, and in particular the choice of Thanksgiving Day, are a bit hazy even to long-time race organizers. Some say the race was started by the downtown YMCA under the provisions of its charter. Others suggest that a few local runners simply decided to organize a race one year and chose a holiday when most people would be off.

Part of the impetus, however, may well have been American marathoner Johnny Hayes' stunning gold-medal victory in the 1908 Olympic Games in London. Hayes' triumph elevated public interest in long-distance road races. This response preceded Frank Shorter's win 64 years later in the 1972 Munich Games when Shorter’s gold medal in the marathon also ignited a running craze in the United States.

On the 26th of November, Thanksgiving Day morning in 1908, 21 men historically took off from the Fort Thomas Central YMCA. They wound their way through Northern Kentucky and across the Ohio River via the L&N Bridge into Cincinnati. 18 of these individuals eventually finished outside the downtown YMCA at 7th and Walnut Streets. The winner that year, as he would be for the next four installments, was Lovell Draper, who covered the approximately 7-mile course in 37:15 and won by over three minutes.

The Cincinnati Post described his performance in the following manner.  "At the finish he was as fresh as if he had taken a stroll along some shady lane." He ran the last 500 yards as fast as some 100-yard dash men do and came in laughing." Draper's first remark upon crossing the finish line was: "I wish it was 10 miles further."

Draper held the record for the most number of wins by any one male until decades later John Sence came in front six times.  Julie Isphording recorded the most Thanksgiving Day Race victories with eight. 

Lovell Draper

In November of 1909, G.F. Thompson, physical director of the YMCA wrote to Maurice Longenecker, Superintendent of the Cincinnati Athletic Club, asking him to serve as a judge at the finish of the YMCA‘s annual Thanksgiving Day road race from Ft. Thomas to the YMCA building.  Motivation for this request may have been to give more credibility to this fledgling event or to ensure participation from the Club’s array of athletes.

In 1919, with WWI completed, the Thanksgiving Day Race resumed with a new route. It proceeded from the Ft. Thomas Armory to the Central YMCA, which was at the corner of Elm and Canal. News articles mention that one needed to pass a physician’s test in order to participate.  The field consisted of 19 runners and nine walkers. Handicap starts were utilized and Frank Martin of Chicago, official handicapper of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), did the honors.

Sebastian Linehan, both as a competitor and as an organizer, was very prominent in the walking community for many decades. He helped found two clubs – the American Walkers’ Association Cincinnati branch (AWA), which is still a viable organization and the oldest walking club in the country, and the Walkers’ Club of Cincinnati.

Linehan’s racing prowess included winning the annual 6-mile Thanksgiving Day walking race in a time of 54:01:2/5 and being invited to try out for the 1920 Olympic team.  He was to be a main cog in the management of the Thanksgiving Day Race during the first half of the 20th century.

Don Connolly, who helped with and served as the race director for over 30 years tells this story about Irv Carroll, one of the premier competitors during that era, and a contemporary of Linehan.

Irv Carroll was a Thanksgiving Day runner, walker or race official for 64 straight years. In 1920 the finish was so crowded that the top two (Irv was one) got separated and they each went a different direction around the crowd but in the same distance.  Irv finished first across the extended finish line but he was not noticed and the other guy got the trophy for first.  In the 1980’s, with Irv’s family in attendance at the Convention Center, I reversed that finish and presented Irv with the rightful trophy with the inscription -1920 Overall Male Winner - on it.

For many years the walkers received equal billing. That’s largely because of the involvement of Sebastian Linehan and Irv Carroll.  Carroll, along with his earlier mentioned victory as a runner, later triumphed as a walker, thus becoming the only individual to win the Thanksgiving Day Race both as a runner and as a walker. Carroll was a longtime starter for the race and for many years served as the president of the American Walkers Association (AWA).

Far right - Irv Carroll starting the 1972 race

C. Russell Payne, who was born in Cincinnati and attended Ohio State University, became the first of six Olympians to run in the race. He won the event three times, 1922-24. Prior to his 1924 victory, he represented the USA in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Olympics in Paris.  The other Olympians are Ted Corbitt, Bob Schul, Jack Bacheler, and Julie Isphording and Craig Virgin.

In Tom Kaufmann’s blog, he mentions some oddities about that 1924 race, which Payne won.

The race moved from the morning to the afternoon. Like the 1933 three-mile race, that change lasted only one year, as the next day's paper noted that "the change took a lot of the glamor from the classic, in the opinion of many, tending to keep down the number of contestants, officials and spectators due to the football games and dinner engagements." The event has always been a prelude to the day, not the focus of the day itself. (The focus is turkey and football, which seemingly hasn't changed since the 1920s.)

While a race is typically a serious affair, one so long-lived hasn't been without some humorous hiccups along the way. In either 1920 or 1924, for example, a streetcar crossed the course, interrupting the race-in-progress. As the pendulum of history swings back, it seems that dodging streetcars may be an issue again in the future.

Ted Corbitt, future Olympian and “godfather” of American distance running, twice ran the race before he headed east.  While a student at UC, he participated in the 1942 and 1943 editions.

Jim Pleshinger’s extensive research on the history of the event provided valuable content for this blog.  He describes one of the top racers of the World War 2 era.

Gil Dodds, known as “The Flying Preacher,” dominated the race in the 1940s, by winning it five times. He also held the American and world records for the mile.

Gil Dodds

Don Wahle, who kept the race going and served as race director in the 1960s and 70s, recalls that, “One year they didn’t have anyone at the bridge. The story goes that Gil Dodds went to the bridge – now the Purple People Bridge – and there was a ... walkway to the bridge that he didn’t see. As he was heading out towards Newport, somebody noticed and they brought him back in a car to where he was supposed to be. He still won the race because he was so far ahead.”

Newspaper clipping about Gil Dodds

But for most of its history – before the 1970s and ’80s when participation began to increase – the run was mainly a showcase for college athletes fresh off cross country season.

Coach Oliver Nikoloff with his UC Cross Country Team

The three-man team title trophy was very coveted back in the 1940s and 1950s.  In 1950, UC sophomore Vernon Hawkins, who was referred to as “husky” in a newspaper clipping, led two UC teammates to win the annual team competition. He paced the field for the first mile and was up close until the last two miles. The article went on to say,

“Lanky” Bob McVeigh, in his last collegiate cross country race, had the best day in his distance career as he knocked nearly three minutes off his best time of last year. Don Wahle lost his glasses at the 3½-mile mark and was guided to the finish by teammate McVeigh, who called out the directions at each street corner. As late as the 4½-mile point it looked as if the Miami Redskins team was going to defend the crown that they won last year. At that point there were two Redskins ahead of Wahle, four ahead of McVeigh and Hawkins was fading, But the Bearcat team came on strong near the end and defeated the Miami group.  Hawkins covered the distance in 30:21.9. McVeigh’s time of 31:07.4 was two seconds ahead of Wahle.”

Vern Hawkins

L-R  Bob MacVeigh and Don Wahle

One of Don Wahle’s old Hughes High School teammates, Jack Heinemann, went to Miami. He was an outstanding runner in cross-country and track. In 1952 he won the Thanksgiving Day Race by defeating Bob Coldren, an excellent runner representing Ohio State, who went on to victory the next year.  

Article prior to the 1953 Race

The excellent cooperation by the police departments of Fort Thomas, Newport, and Cincinnati, as they provided many motorcycle escorts for the contestants, is mentioned in a newspaper article.

Excerpt from an interview by Jim Pleshinger:
In 1954 Bearcat runner Kent Friel, along with 22 other runners, ran his first Thanksgiving Day Race. He ran it twelve straight times, but then he thought he had raced his last turkey day event.
   “I didn’t run the race for six years,” said Friel. “I had become frustrated because I always finished so far back in the pack, even last one year – and I was running six and a half minute miles. Essentially the race was made up of the Miami and UC cross country teams, plus two or three guys from Ohio State.  There were generally few runners after they graduated from college.  My tradition was to run the race and then go to the UC-Miami football game that was always played at UC.”

However, in the early 70s the running scene was changing. More runners began hitting the roads.  After a six-year hiatus from the event, Friel decided to go down and watch the race.  “I got there and there were like 200 runners. I thought I’d better get back there and do it.”

Now, after over 50 turkey day trots, Kent has never missed an edition since!

Friel winning as a Bearcat

Kaufmann adds:
Miami University has a proud tradition of excellence in the Thanksgiving Day Race. In 1957 Bob Schul won as a Miami freshman. He would then go on to win gold in the 5,000m at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics -- America's only gold medalist ever at that distance.

Runners from Miami won most of the races during the decade following Schul’s victory.  These individuals were, Steve Tekesky, Andy Schramm (twice), Jack Bacheler (1968 and 1972 Olympian), Joel Vore, Rick Cunningham, and Bob Dickerson.

Andy Schramm; Deer Park H.S. and Miami

Imagine a Cincinnati without the annual Thanksgiving Day Race. Road races are popular these days, but back in the 60s the Thanksgiving Day Race was just about all we had and it needed dramatic life support. The race could have disappeared.  

Here is what Jim Pleshinger reported just a few years ago about the leadership transition that took place back then:
The race might not have approached this year’s milestone if not for former University of Cincinnati star Don Wahle. Until the 1960s, the race had been mainly under the stewardship of the Cincinnati YMCA and the Elks Lodge on Central Parkway. In the mid-60s, that stewardship was threatened until Wahle, with help from fellow UC graduates Kent Friel and Bob MacVeigh, stepped up.
“We had a gentleman by the name of Sebastian Linehan who had been organizing it for many years,” Wahle said. “He was head of the national committee on walking. They would bring in these national (walking) champs. “We had some pretty good people” in the race over the years, Wahle said. “Gil Dodds won (in the ’40s) – he was a top miler in the United States. The reason he ran was because of Sebastian Linehan. ... He had contacts in New York and Boston and was able to get the top people to come to Cincinnati and get people to run that race. He got sick in his 80s and was unable to continue.

“I had just formed the Ohio Valley Track Club. I talked to the Elks Club and told them our club would be willing to take care of the race if they would do their part – awards, trophies, and hospitalities. ...“I continued to do the race until around ’77. The numbers (participants) went from hundreds to around 4-5,000 people.”

The turkey trot could have easily disappeared, but Don Wahle took it upon himself each year to keep the race intact. And what was it like managing the race during the 60s? He marked the course early in the day and arranged for individuals to help start the race and be at the finish line. Then, with these logistics in place, Don toed the line waiting for the starter’s pistol report to send everyone on their journey from Kentucky to Ohio.

Here is how Don Connolly describes course marking in 1969 and how his race directing career began:
After working my first year of the Thanksgiving Day Race in 1968 by helping with registration, somehow I volunteered to go around with Don Wahle in his car to mark the course with arrows made of powdered lime at each corner of the course.  At the time, there were no water stop or course volunteers.  Don would park his car at the start and run back after the race to get it.

The next year or so I helped with pre and late registration and the entries jumped from 400 to 1000.  When we got home from that race Carol (Don’s wife and chief registration inputter), after pulling labels from sweaty runners at the Elks Lodge on Central Parkway said, "We're not doing that again".  And I said, “We aren't doing this without being
compensated.”  I established a fee of $.50/runner and the business started.

From Jim Pleshinger
The race’s tradition of greatness continued with many top runners from the regional and national level. Among them was 1971 race champion Reggie McAfee. As a senior at now-defunct Courter Tech, he won the 1969 Class AA mile championship in 4:08.5 – a record that would last 32 years. In 1973, at the University of North Carolina, he became the first African-American to break the four-minute mile, in 3:57.8.

From Tommy Kaufmann:
1971 was also a significant year because it marked the first year there was an official female winner. It was local Mt. Notre Dame student Marie Kastrup, coached by Don Wahle. In an interesting bit of symmetry with Lovell Draper, the first men's winner, she too won her first five Thanksgiving Day Races.

1972 winner Duane Gaston approaching the Elks Lodge on Central Parkway

Over the years the course varied with moveable start and finish locations. In 1960 the Thanksgiving Day Race still began at the Ft. Thomas Armory. The route wound down Memorial Parkway to the Sinton Hotel on Fourth Street in Cincinnati where the Provident Building now stands.

Next it moved to Grand Avenue in Ft. Thomas in front of the St. Luke (now St. Elizabeth) Hospital. The start of the race had a precipitous drop during the first mile. Unfortunately, no split times where given then, but given the quality of the runners, who were racing, first miles in the 4:30s are not out of question. Finally, in 1977 the start had to move to the Newport Shopping Plaza.  Why the move?  In those pre-Port-A-Let days the hospital restrooms were being overwhelmed by anxiety stricken runners and the race was asked to move by the hospital staff after the 1976 edition.

For 15 years the race ended at the Elks Lodge (now FOP Lodge) on Central Parkway in Cincinnati. Upon completion of the race, all 30-50 runners sat around in the Elk's Lodge and consumed the soup that the Elks Club members would ladle out of a large bowl.  It was a warm inviting atmosphere at the Lodge where the runners shared camaraderie.

Don Wahle used the modest proceeds to help local running. He financed a summer track series at the new all-weather track at Reading High School and assisted a Labor Day cross-country race, which was held on the site of the former NIOSH facility on Ridge Road. That was about it for the running scene in Cincinnati outside of the high schools and colleges. But things were about to change.

The growing popularity of the sport caused the race to outgrow the Elks Lodge facility and in 1978 the finish line moved to the Union Terminal (one year only).

1973 Award winners at Elks Lodge
L-R:  Harold Schuck, Jim Lytle, Howard Hughes, Bob Roncker

From John Fay:
The Thanksgiving Day Race got its first big attendance bump with the running boom of the 1970s. The field doubled each year from 1975 until 1978. It reached 2,331 the next year, then stayed in that range before the new boom of the '90s.

Don Wahle, after alerting the running community with a couple of year’s notice that he was scaling back his running commitments due to the desire to spend more time with his growing family, turned the Thanksgiving Day Race stewardship over to Cincinnati race organizer Don Connolly and his wife Carol. Race proceeds were primarily earmarked to assist youth running in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

Entry Fee Check for 1977 Race

From Don Connolly:
In the late 70’s when the course circled down to Mehring Way, which at the time still had railroad tracks, the Amtrak Cardinal service to Washington, D.C. went through the course at 54 minutes.  This caused about a 2-minute stoppage for any runner not through the 5.5-mile mark at that time.

From 1977 to 2000, to accommodate more walkers and runners, the race started at the Latonia Shopping Plaza in Covington

From Don Connolly
In the 70’s after one race the leftover awards were out on the street to be loaded on the truck.  Somebody stole the box of leftover awards.  I got a call from someone in Mt. Adams who said that a box of trophies was along the street in the grass.  Thinking it was some sort of scram to get me there and rob me, I called the police to meet me there to get the awards.  The awards were where they were reported to be.   I think at the time someone thought the trophies’ shininess was pure gold or some other valuable medal.

From Mike Boylan
In 1978 the race ended at Union Terminal. The finish line, consisting of Don Connolly’s dowels and 2x4 bases, were unassembled, and the precise location of the finish line was unknown, even as the race was starting.  Barry Binkley and I were hustling feverishly and with varying opinions about how to do it.  I think this was before the multiple chute system had been perfected.  We were still working when Tom Blumer (the area’s top local road racer at the time) pulled into view. Yikes!!

Awards in Union Terminal Station in 1978
Front: L-R  Harold Schuck, Bob Roncker, ?, ?, Barry Erickson, George Brose
Back:  L-R  ?, ?, Richard Welling, Frank Diedrichs, ?, ?, ?, ?
(Please let me know if you can identify any of these individuals)

1979 Female award winners in Riverfront Stadium
Karen Cosgrove overall winner (center in middle aisle)
Front L-R  ?, ?, ?, Anne Einspanier
Back  L-R  ?, ?, ?, Julie Isphording, Leslie Powell Colliopolos, Karen Doppes Cosgrove, ?, ?, ?, Julie Bechant
(Please let me know if you can identify any of these individuals)

In 1980 Julie Isphording won the first of her eight Turkey Day races.  In 1984 she qualified for the first ever women’s Olympic Marathon. Over the long history of the event no one has won it as many times as she. Later, after she had won the race a number of times, she has this anecdote to share.

From Julie Isphording:
My greatest memory of the Thanksgiving Day race…was the day that Don Connolly spray-painted a little box on the starting line with “JULIE’ in it.  I got to stand in my special box to start the race.  I felt like such a winner…I felt safe, I felt honored, I felt so lucky that Don took the time to make me feel like such a good runner.

I will never forget that day….I will never forget Don Connolly’s thoughtfulness…I will never forget that feeling of winning before the gun went off.

From Don Connolly:
Around 1980 I got a call after one of the races from an out of town lady complaining about all the hills, especially the one coming up Elm to the Convention Center.  At the oft chance that I was correct I said, “Are you from Detroit? Yes.” she replied, “How did you know?”  I told her that having been in Detroit a couple times and remembering its flatness I made a wild guess.

From Randy Cox:
Here’s a story involving Smitty (Mike Smith) that might not be printable, but it’s pretty funny.
It was a very cold Thanksgiving Day back in the early 80's (sub 20 if I recall correctly).  Of course most of us young whippersnappers wore shorts, and I guess Smitty's were a bit thinner than most, because his private parts started to freeze.  Post race, Smitty told me that he had to decide on whether to let his hands, or his gonads freeze, which was pretty much a no-brainer.  He removed his gloves, stuffed them down his shorts for frontal protection, and finished the race.  I heard that approaching the finish he looked really endowed for a little guy! 

Don Connolly, as race director, included a number of nice touches with the race results and was very transparent:
         He listed all the volunteers who assisted on race day
         He included a synopsis of the race
         He gave special thanks to individuals who filled key roles
         He sought suggestions for improving the event
         He listed and thanked the sponsors
         He noted who help publicize the event and he gave contact information as a way to thank them
         He listed the Games Committee
         He listed the total number of registrants and race finishers
         He noted the net proceeds

         He showed where and how much of the money went to various groups

Odessa Barnett and Elaine Clapp

From Bill Hart:
Bill Hart and Barry Binkley had their annual fight at the Thanksgiving Day Race finish line concerning how best to set up a multi-lane chute system.

From Tommy Kaufmann:
The only unofficial tie in the history of the race took place in 1983. When friendly competitors Dave Schaufuss and Steve Gosney glanced back at the four-mile mark, they saw that they were all alone in front. In the spirit of the holiday, they then decided to finish the race together as friends. Race officials took umbrage to the display, however, and so the formal results list Gosney as the winner.

From Don Connolly
Interesting phone call:  In the early 80’s, after one of the Thanksgiving Day Races, I got a call from a woman who lived in an apartment on Elm St. just south of the Cincinnati Convention Center and just about a block from the then finish on Elm right before 5th.  She got my phone number from the Convention Center.  She said that her dog was sick and that she had trouble sleeping with all those runners and people yelling, “Go Bob, etc.”  She seemed to not understand anything about the race.  She asked me if next year we could move the finish line east so as to not disturb her dog.

By Bob Roncker; How The Thanksgiving Day Race Become a 10k:
The length of the Thanksgiving Day Race varied over the years, from three to seven miles, but it has generally been in the 5-6-mile range (more or less since measuring road distances was rather primitive at the time). However, the official length switched to 10k, 6.2 miles, in 1985. 

Since the Thanksgiving Day Race was the premier local event, all of the better area runners showed up. This resulted in very fast racing times. Because it was so speedy, elite local runners, including Karen Doppes Cosgrove who worked for us at the time, liked to submit the six-mile time (the race distance for many years) from the Turkey Trot to out of town race directors, who hosted the more commonly run 10k distance, in order to receive appearance money for their event.  Unfortunately, many directors insisted on a 10k time rather than a mark from this shorter distance.

In ’85 race fliers were already out advertising the six-miles distance when I called  Don Connolly (race director) and said, “Why don’t we make it a 10k this year — not next year, but this year?”  Don was open to the idea and he immediately remeasured the route and changed it to a 10K.

As with many changes, not everyone accepted this one particularly well. Six miles was a more traditional race distance than it is now, but the distance clearly has had staying power.

From Mark Jones:
I can't remember how many Turkey Day races that I ran, perhaps 10 or so???  But, at some point in the 1980's probably, I made an off hand BS remark to Carol Connolly that I should get a low number. I certainly was not due one because of my running ability. I rarely won any kind of age group award and was strictly a middle of the road runner.  I never expected that she would act on this off-hand remark.

Carol, in her benevolence and kindness to a friend, me, started giving me low numbers.  I got #1 one year, #2 another, and #10 one time.  I felt very self-conscious competing with these low numbers.  In no way was I a celebrity or a gifted runner,...NO WAY!! 

But, I guess in the spectrum of runners exaggerating their abilities and performances--not to mention runners cutting the courses short, etc. to qualify for Boston, etc.--it was a minor transgression.  I now apologize to anyone who is or was offended.

From Tommy Kaufmann:
Then there was the 1988 race, when man's best friend decided to enter the fray. As the race left Kentucky along the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge, a German shepherd started running alongside leader and eventual winner Eric Fillinger. In his words: "He started running along with me in Kentucky and followed me onto the bridge. He ran with me for about a half-mile, I guess ... He was friendly. He just kept running around my feet and getting in front of me."

1988 Winner Eric Fillinger with canine friend

From Don Connolly:
In the 80’s I got a call a few days before the race from a resident in Latonia where the start of the race was.  He said that if he heard any music he was going to come out and shoot me. I kept the music a bit lower until about 8:00 a.m. and then cranked it up and stayed close to the Covington police that morning.

By Jim Pleshinger:
In the 80s buses started picking up runners and walkers near the Cincinnati Convention Center and drop them off at the Latonia Shopping Plaza. Warm-up clothing could be left on the bus to be transported to the finish line area. The tradition continued almost 20 more years, despite the logistical challenges as participation grew. Don Wahle says that one of the best recent changes came in 2001 when the race first started and ended at Paul Brown Stadium.
“The bus (to the starting line) was great,” Wahle said,
“but when the numbers of participants shot up, you couldn’t bus that many people. The race would start and the buses would still be coming, so you’d have all these people upset.
“It became a nightmare.” Some complained about the change, but it paid dividends.
“If anybody would be upset about the change, it should’ve been me,” Wahle said. “I’ve had more history with the race than anyone. But I thought it was great.

In 1992 John Sence captured the first of his six Thanksgiving Day Races.  No male has won as many Thanksgiving Day titles as he.  John, a Milford High and Wake Forest graduate had a distinguished running career.  He was the national cross country runner-up in high school, a collegiate All-American and sub 29:00 10k runner, marathon Olympic Trials qualifier, and the1997 USA Running Circuit Grand Prix Champion

John Sence after one of his Thanksgiving Day victories

Human errors occur. In 1994 the field was misdirected.  Here was race director Don Connolly’s attempt to partially remedy the situation and enable people to calculate what their 10k time would have been.  Can you believe that Don was a math teacher for 30 years?

Computation for correction of being misdirected

By John Fay:
The Thanksgiving Day Race has been setting records for the size of the field annually in recent years: 3,804 in 1996 to 4,700 in 1997 to 5,307 last year.

While the course has changed over the years -- in both distance and design (it was a point-to-point course every year from Northern Kentucky to Downtown until 2001, when it became a single-loop course with a Downtown start and finish) -- the tradition remains the same.

After the year 2000 race, Don and Carol Connolly stepped down and passed the Thanksgiving Day Race to their assistant, Julie Isphording, to manage. 

Don Connolly at a race

Julie currently owns and directs the Thanksgiving Day Race. It starts and ends at Paul Brown Stadium and begins at 9:00 a.m.  Type this link into your browser for more 2016 race information:


·                1896 – Delaware YMCA Turkey Trot 8K
·                1897 – Boston Marathon
·                1907 – Jackson Day 9K (New Orleans)
·                1907 – New Orleans AC Turkey Day 5M
·                1907 – Yonkers Marathon (N.Y.)
·                1908 – Run for the Diamonds 9M (Berwick, PA)
·                1908 – Thanksgiving Day 10K (Cincinnati)



·                1892 – Bemis-Forslund Pie Race 4.3 miles (Gill, MA)
·                1904 – Schuylkill Navy 5.6 mile (Philadelphia)

Type or copy this link and paste it in your browser for past winners and course history: 


Thanks for the memories of this race. I have a couple of memories. One of which was that the busses took us over so early that the challenge was to stay warm before the race. Another was the deluge of cast off mittens, socks and other outerwear at about the 3 mile spot. I was running along with a blind man whose partner needed to take a bathroom break and I led the blind man for a while until his partner caught up.
Stan Adams

Thanks, Bob, for another can't miss edition. They should have a moment of silence before the start to honor Don Wahle, who kept the race alive!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mark McKillip